The Craft Behind Cinematic Storytelling | KAMAL SUCHARAN | Skillshare

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The Craft Behind Cinematic Storytelling

teacher avatar KAMAL SUCHARAN, Filmmaker at Newlight Cinemas

Watch this class and thousands more

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

16 Lessons (37m)
    • 1. Promo

    • 2. Introduction

    • 3. What is Story?

    • 4. Structure

    • 5. Setting

    • 6. Act

    • 7. Sequences

    • 8. Scene / Event

    • 9. Beat

    • 10. What is Genre?

    • 11. Characterisation

    • 12. Character

    • 13. Character Revelation

    • 14. Character Arc

    • 15. Structure and Character

    • 16. Conclusion

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About This Class

Humans are wired for stories. 

Throughout the ages storytelling has took many forms right from drawings on caves to statuses on Facebook. 

Is there any craft behind telling an entertaining story? I would definitely say, yes. 

Anyone can imagine, dream and write. But in order to streamline your ideas to tell a compelling story; understanding of the craft is must. It involves lot of craft elements like structure, setting, genre, scene building, character, characterization etc. 

As Aristotle wisely said every story or character must have a problem, in order to solve his/her problem he/she needs to find some solution and solve it through action over the course of time. Our course exactly does that. 

Enroll now to solve all of your story problems.

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image


Filmmaker at Newlight Cinemas


Kamal Sucharan Burri is a Filmmaker, writer, instructor and entrepreneur. With teaching experience of over 8 years, he is pursuing Ph. D., on Storytelling Dynamics. He teaches communication, film production, TV production, screenwriting and other soft skills as a Visiting professor in various Universities and Colleges in India.

He is also the founding Director of Newlight Cinemas, a film Production Company striving to carve niche with sensible storytelling.

He staunchly believes that storytelling can change the world and always aims to do so.

See full profile

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1. Promo: good storytelling is not an accident. Compelling story is not a chance. It's a conscious effort with a diligent craft. It doesn't matter whether you are a writer, director, filmmaker, awful student, our business way. 2. Introduction: Welcome to the course. The craft behind cinematic storytelling. Know the secrets and entertain your audience. I'm Common situation Berry. Having had my masters in mass communication, I'm pursuing my doctorate on storytelling dynamics. I teach filmmaking screen writing and writing all of the universities across India for over 80 years. Let me start like this. Everybody can discuss stories, but not everybody can write stories further. You need a conscious understanding off the got. If you're a writer, filmmaker, storyteller or fill in student struggling to write stories to impress your audience. This course is for you know, expertise is required and intended toe all levels. In the fourth section. I'll discuss the importance of stories in present scenario and the next section. I'll discuss the structure and setting of the story, along with acts, sequences, scenes and beads, with effective examples for your conscious understanding. Later, I'll discuss the Jonah and its conventions toe tell the stories you're comfortable with. Finally, I'll discuss all the dynamics off, creating a character such as characterization, character, character arc and character revelation, along with the relation between the character and the structure. Every listen is consciously simplified for your understanding, simply put it is the essence we gained for over 80 years after stating the craft writing his story is a conscious exercise. It requires hard work to potentially pull off a great story. Hope this course will solve all your ovaries and confusions in writing a great story. Absent is our understanding on the craft. Hope you gain the expert ties and excel in the stories you tell. 3. What is Story?: Hi, I'm common situation. Very welcome to the course. The craft of cinematic storytelling. Know the secrets and entertain your audience in the first lesson will know about what is story. Stories are the metaphors off life, and they are the equipments. Half are living. Hence story dealing has become the essential art form since the inception off mankind. And we need stories to understand the paradoxes and complex piece off life through tens and thousands off years off Tales told it five types. A four million year African bird, 2500 years Off Theatre, a century of films and eight decades of broadcasting on with the recent advent of social media, storytelling has evolved from hunting on the cave walls to six Pierre on Facebook walls. As for the recent studies, we live in experience economy. That means we can only sensitize. People are portrayed people with effective storytelling. People are not really convinced until they're emotionally convinced. So this course will give you the right tools to portray people or your audience with effective storytelling cinema. Being the dominant art form has changed radically both in the technology and perceptions off audience to proceed the story so it is quite challenging for filmmakers to tell their stories in these changing dynamics. So our courts equips any storyteller, filmmaker or writer with the right tools to tell a very good story, So let us decode one by one. 4. Structure: coming to the next lesson stuck Joe. You can build a house in whichever way you want, but you cannot build a house without those and Windows, So the structure placed the exact role in the story. Every story has a structure humans tend to convert to certain patterns of storytelling, called park tights that are hidden in the deep, subconscious psych off every human being, so having structure in the story definitely pace off. So what is the structure? How can they build it from the West flux of the life story? The writer must make choices off what to include and what to exclude, what to put before and what toe put after. So the structure is a selection off events, from character's life stories that is composed to a static sequences, toe arrows, certain sort of emotions in the audience, or to present a specifically off life. As we have already discussed. Every character offers enormous possible taste for a writer, but the mark of the master is to select only a few. But give us a lifetime. Writing is a heck Julian task. It is very easy to get lost in your old story in the due course off your writing. You may struggle with characters, conflicts and lots off stuff. Then the structure off story gives you the hope to pursue your own story and entertain your audience. To put it simple. Structure is hot. The story is organized. It is the framework off a story on. Within that framework, all the other elements, like setting Jonah characters would come. So let us decode one by one in detail in next lessons. 5. Setting: coming to the next lesson. The setting off a story. How do aboard, please she how they avoid routine stories? To answer this, the lighter must know the world of his story. Setting exactly deals with that story setting is four dimensional. The first dimension is period and the second dimension ease regulation. The third dimension is location, and the fourth dimension is the level of conflict. The first dimension off time is period. A period is a stories place in time. That means is the story a contemporary one or it is set in the hypothetical future. Or in the fantasy Exeter Exeter. The choices are endless. Duration. Is the stories length in time? That means how much time does the story span within the lives of characters decades, years, months and even days? Location is a stories place in space. That means location is the physical dimension off this story. Couple simple. It is the geography off this story, So put it simple. Where does the story actually take place? In what town? Onward streets or onward buildings in that Burtless street and war prunes on those butler buildings extracted, the choices are endless. Level of conflict is the stories. Potion on the hierarchy off human struggle. 11 Off conflict is the human dimension off this story. That means what is the conflict in your story? And what are the inner and outer conflicts off a character? Whether the character is going toe fight with authority, institution, all a person, orbital himself or herself? Anything that creates a conflict to the character can determine the level of conflict in that effortless story. Because conflicts hook audience to the court, any storyteller, writer or the filmmaker should have a clear understanding off dissecting in his own story. Ordell's. He would confuse himself and confused audience only after setting up the story, he could play on the character at scenes and sequences, which we're going to discuss later. 6. Act: coming to the next listen act. The act is the city's off sequences that peak in a climatic scene, which causes a major reversal in the value you might be wondering water sequences and scenes. We learned that in the next lessons, letters discuss the three act structure put by all started Aristotle say's Every story should have beginning live in, I think. But Steven Spielberg famously say's Every story should have beginning middle and end, but not in that necessarily order. So what is beginning? Middle and end in the story? Beginning is nothing but this set up in storytelling terms the middle, this confrontation and the nd's resolution. So let us decode each one off this toe. Put it simple. Set up is nothing back. The introduction of the characters, geography and dynamics, office story and the confrontation is creating a problem to the character. And the resolution is, Have the characters finally solved? The problem three act structure is actually off how the brain works. Initially, you plan some information and it ultimately pays off. You have to have the beginning to get to the middle and to get to the end. Finally, we can also explain the set of confrontation and dissolution in the form off speaking feel and statuses, you might be wondering what is pretty fear and catalysis? Let me explain. First, you make the audience feel pity for the character. You usually do that by making your character go through some undeserved misfortunes, conflicts or problems. Then the audience will feel certain, sort off pretty in their hearts. Further character. That pretty generates certain sort of emotional connection between the audience and the character. The writer begins to have the control over the audience. Then you must make your character struggle more and more and put the character into much worse and worse conditions on. Because off that emotional connection audience start feeling fear for the character. When you release that particular character from your party or crisis or whatever the situation they're in the audience experiences catalysis. Catalysis is nothing but the release of emotions, so pity, catalysis and fear. This technique on this formula always work because this pattern has been in the human psych since injuries. We have given few examples for acts in exercises, so practice those exercises and master deform acts and its conventions 7. Sequences: coming to the next lesson. The sequence in its story sequence is generally a Siri's off, since generally from 2 to 5 that culminate with much greater impact than any previous scene . A sequence is a self contained portion off the entire story. It has its old tension. Any sequence will also have the beginning, middle and end in the sequence. They get some information as the story advances and also will be having a little tension to worry about in that sequence, either a positive attention to hope, something big for the character or the negative attention where we feel for the character. Generally, films are divided into eight sequences. Let us discuss each stage here they are before sequences, stethoscope. In the sequence, we establish ordinary world and the heroes problem. It ends with the inciting incident that threatens to change everything. The second sequences lock The hero may refuse the call to action, but by the end of the sequence they're locking into the adventure and have passed the point of no return. In this sequence, they try and solve the problem the easy way. But well, coming to the third sequence, raising the states now that the character is locked in the face, their first challenge in the New World. The stakes have been raised now that they are locked in. The exploration of the new world occurs here, and the new minor characters of the New World are introduced here as well. This sequence is about exploration and playing off the concept. This is the first time the hero tries in your earnest to solve the problem, coming to the next sequence mid lunch. It is a huge event that is, either the false defeat are false. Victory coming to the next sequence. Rising action. The stakes are raised as the villains closing on our hero. The character finally begins to grow in the sequence. At the end of the sequence, there is a new way to solve the problem. Next sequence, all is lost. This sequence frames the entire movie with a twist that changes everything. Hope is crushed. The bad guys moving on. The hero faces the greatest fear coming to the next sequence. New tension and list. The inciting instant is resolved, the hero defeats the enemy, gets the girl, and sometimes an original twist can be placed here, coming to the final sequence. The dissolution. This is the closing image where the character results. The final Conflict eight sequence structure developed by Frank Daniel gives you three benefits. The 1st 1 is it breaks up screenplay into manageable chunks so that you can work very clearly and easily. And the second benefit is these eight sequence structure works along in conjunction with the three act structure and the third benefit Ease whenever you're lost in the plot, This eight sequence structure gives you direction and clarity. The examples are provided at the end of the lesson. Please have a look at it and practice the sequences so that you'll be very clear while telling his story. 8. Scene / Event: coming to the next listen scene saying is very important in store Italy. But before discussing the scene, let us discuss the even. So what is it? A story event creates a meaningful change in the life situation off a character that is experienced or expressed in terms of value. So what is story value then? Story values are the universal qualities of human experience that may shift from positive to negative or negative to positive from one moment to the next. For a typical phylum, every lighter we choose 40 to 60 story Vince. Ideally, every story event is the same. After writing a story, look closely at all the scenes your Britain, and just ask what value is at stake in my character's life at that particular situation? Love. True, It could be anything next, analyzed, the starting value off, etc. Whether it is positive, negative or moment off port. Next, I don't know the end of the scene. Where is this value now? Positive. Negative or there is any difference and less that and making up. If the value off the scene doesn't change it all, it is time to relate. That seat while you change is a prerequisite for any scene to entertain and exact your audience. If nothing changes in value, Billy Vaccine, because that seemed, is a non event and non event, never excites your audience. Some off the scenes are given as examples. Study those scenes observed those values No don't values and practices yourself, Then you can write better scenes for their own stories. 9. Beat: coming to the next listen beach. Generally every scene should have an objective. In orderto achieve that objective. We need some strategies. Those strategies are nothing. Back beeps. Let me explain very clearly. Beat is the smallest element in it seems. It is the extend of behavior in action and reaction. These exchanging behaviors shape up the seat. Let me give you an example. If the objective off the scene is too said use, then the beeps in that scene would be float converse, attract any bus. Take, for example, you love or you have an interest to particular partner in a bar. First you go and flirt with them. Next, you start building a conversation with them. Next, you try to attract them by eliciting your confidence qualities. Exeter Exeter And finally you impressed them. It means your objective to seduce that partner is accomplished. So consider bigs as strategies to achieve the objective off the scene. Many more examples are given at the end of this. Listen for you to practice and master different. Finally, remember this order Wild reading his story. The story is one huge large event. Few acts Billy Story and few sequences will APS and few scenes, bid sequences and few weeks build scenes. Remember this episode in order to get the clarity on the structure while writing your story and then add up your own imagination to that structure to tell better stories. 10. What is Genre?: coming to the next lesson. Georgia Jonah is nothing but the kind of films you want to make. To anticipate the anticipations off audience, you must master the Jonah and its conventions, each one of us also on an almost debt to the great story traditions. You must not only respect those traditions but also master its form. And conventions never resumed that. Because you have seen films in your Jonah, you can make those films. It's not like that. It's like assuming you could compose a symphony because you have heard all the nine symphonies off beatable. In order to study the craft or your to study the Jonah, you must master its form and conventions. If a phylum has been properly promoted, the audience right into the haters with expectancy. So in the jargon of marketing professionals that is called positioning off the audience, positioning the audience means we don't want people to come toe work, not knowing what to expect. We have to be very clear to let audience come to the aiders clear war and focused with an appetite. We intend to satisfy them so far that you need to master your form. Jonah and its conventions. Positioning off audience is nothing new. Shakespeare called his play Hamlet, not just Hamlet. He called it the tragedy off Hamlet, the Prince of Denmark. He gave Comrie titles such as Much Ado About Nothing. All is well that ends well, so people arriving Globe Theatre entered with expectations. They are psychologically set to laugh or cry along with the characters. This is only possible by knowing the Jonah and its conventions. If we botch Jonah by omitting or misusing commissions, people instantly knows it, and bad modes are work. So many examples are given at the end of this lesson, so steady the Jonah and its conventions to master the form and tell good stories. 11. Characterisation: welcome to the next section. Creating a character creating characters is easy, but most of us under creating cliche characters due to lack in the knowledge of the craft. So in this lesson, let us see have to create believable and sustainable characters to your audience, according to Laos agree the order off out of dramatic writing, every Carter must be three dimensional. That means we have to know the characters, physiology, sociology and psychology without knowing these attributes. One cannot create the character, so let us decode each one. What is physiology of character? It's nothing but all the physical attributes off the character. That means whether the character is stalled short, ugly, lame Exeter, Exeter Exeter because our physical attributes effects are mental development. So it is very important to know down all the physical attributes off the character to create a well dimensional character. What is the sociology of the character? It's nothing but all the social attributes off their particular character. That means where does the character live? Who is the father of the character who is the mother of the character, what he or she likes dislikes, etcetera to be the size, the social attributes defines the sociology off the character, coming to the last dimension of the character, the psychology. It is the product off both sociological and physiological dimensions off a character. Their combined influence gives the character the temperaments, attitudes, complexes, frustrations. Exeter. Every character represents a world of his own. So knowing all the three dimensions of the character that is social T physiology and psychology makes your character three dimensional. To sum up, characterization is the sum of all the observable qualities off a human being, everything knowable through careful scrutiny. The assemblage off all these rates is characterization, but not a character. So what is character? We learned that in the next lesson. 12. Character: coming to the next listen character beneath the surface, off characterizations, regardless of appearances, Who is this person at the heart of humanity? What will we find, whether his loving or Korean selfish or generous, courageous or quarterly, stronger week extracted all these dimensions, makes the character so The only way to understand the character is push your character to make company choices under pressure. As he chooses, he's the real character. One important thing to remember is contradictions within the character compass him toe. Take the addition. Contradictions are owned. The character creates a conflict toe him so while creating character, half the milk contradictions to accompany him to take the rations and have the outer contradictions to create conflict to the character that builds drama. Definitely your character will stand out. Let me explain one example. If a character Suze is to tell the truth, we're telling a lie would gain him nothing. The choices tribute on that movement expresses nothing. But if the character is the same character country news to insist on telling the truth where alive would save his life, then obviously we know that character is honest at the heart. That's what the characters to sum up after creating characterizations and all the attributes of characterizations. Concentrate on creating the character. It's nothing but give the choices to your character to make compelling nations under pressure. 13. Character Revelation: coming to the next listen, character devolution. The revelation of true character, in contrast with characterizations, is fundamental toe all find storytelling. Let us see how life teaches you this grand principle. What seems is not what is as X Pierre fondly puts all that glitters is not gold. People are not were they appear to be behind everyone. There is one which is truly hidden. So the real moment comes when his company toe take the nation under pressure. And then he reveals his true character. That is nothing but the characters revelation. No matter what they say, no matter have the present them cells. The only way ever to know about the Carter in depth is to study. Their choice is under pressure. To put it simple, let us discuss about ourselves first, really reveal our true character when we are forced to act under company institutions. That's what we actually are, regardless off, hardly present to the outside world. A biotin character is forced to be a pilot character out of sheer necessity and that Miss City companies him toe act. And after analyzing those actions, we come to know about that Butler character, which is nothing but the characters revelation. One important thing to remember is when the characterizations and character match and when the inner and outer behaviors are alike, that character becomes repetitive with predictable behaviors. That means you end up creating a cliche cactus. Shallow and non dimensional characters are boring. They can never entertain your audience. So the rule of thumb bees create characterizations with all the attributes we have discussed earlier and give the characters all the situations that company them toe act precisely, then you can create wonderful characters with interesting conflicts and dramas. 14. Character Arc: coming to the next listen, character arc, you might have known this condition. Nothing is permanent in this world except change that is the heart of the character, too. The character arc reveals the changes off the inner nature in the character. In the due course off, the storytelling characters must grow a wall, learn or change as the plot unfolds. Character arc can be summed up in three Weise. First, character starts at one place, and characters evolve as the plot unfolds and third characters end up at better place. Character arcs will not save a terrible screenplay, but character. Us makes the bad story into a better one. Let us discuss a few examples. Take Rick in Casablanca, initially Ricky's bitter after failed love affair, and he determines not to help anyone. And even, he says, I stick Ope, my Nick. Fund them to that extent, his character is self centric, but at the end, Rick learns to forgive others, surrenders to sacrifice his lost love and also fight for a greater costs. That is the cart arc off Rick in Casablanca. Take the example off. It's a wonderful life. If we examine the character off George Bailey Initially, George wants to do something big with his life, but perhaps but responsibilities in the small town. And he's bitter. At the end of the film, Judge realizes the importance of friends and relatives, and also he embraces the ability to help others and becomes a true person. That is the character arc off George Bailey in It's a Wonderful Life. One important thing to remember in character Rockies. The character arc doesn't imply that the characters will always be richer, smarter or get the girl. At the end, however, the change would happen, and that's change should be evident. 15. Structure and Character: coming to the next lesson. Structure and character, structure and character always middle each other. Let us see how the function office structure is to provide the characters progressively, building pressures that forces characters into more difficult dilemmas, where they must make difficult to staking choices or actions gradually revealing their true natures. The function off a character is to bring to the story the qualities off characterizations necessary into convincingly active choices. Each character must bring the qualities to the story where the characters would seem to be believable and sustainable. Ordell's audience would drift away from the film. One important thing to remember is the motivation off the character. The motivation is the power behind the plot. Any character doesn't act unless there is a strong hidden motivation. Just a mere problem is not enough for the character toe act. The character should have motivation to face the problem. Then the characters will become believable and sustainable for the readers. If we wish to understand the action off any individual, they must look at the motivation which compels him to act. If you understand this, you'll understand your characters. All stories are character driven, structure and character, always complement with each other. Characters can be expressed in depth only to the design off this story before ending the section. Remember these things while creating a character. The first thing is add mighty dimensions. Your characterizations. That means add physiological, psychological and sociological elements to your character. The second thing is provide characters with compelling situations where they're forced to act, so they reveal their true identities. And the 3rd 1 is the take. The soul of any character is changed. So let your characters change in the due course off your storytelling and the final. What is motivation? Let the characters motivate to face their problems? Are actions without motivation? Characters seems to be unbelievable and unsustainable. 16. Conclusion: let me conclude discourse before writing the story. You need to understand many things. You need to understand how audience actually use stories. What do they do with them? Why do they need them? So these are the consents you need to answer before writing your own story. When we observe the ancient drawings on the caves, we can see people fighting with the animals inside the cave in the form of visual storytelling. That means they were rehearsing their own fears inside the caves. And I think that's what we need storytelling for to face your own fears and profess the paradoxes off life before writing the story. Any story Teller has to answer three basic questions. Why look and help? Let us start with white. All men are capable of reason, so you have to know your wife to tell your own stories. Whatever the reason might be, you got to have it bottles. You end up making cliches or telling Gordon stories coming to the next question. What What kind of stories you want to tell? It completely depends on your own sensibilities. Go ahead and just make your statement coming to the next question. Help. How people your old stories. For that, you have to relentlessly parachute the craft, just go ahead and pursue the craft with excellence and never, ever give up. Apart from that, have authentic life experiences. Read books like Consciously and Push through the Craft bill endlessly, car gin famously put men are the slaves of their own fiction. That means we always sold for the answers outside. The paradox ease answers lying within us once we find that it is evident in the work we do . So finally, storytelling is not just about telling the stories. It's about why we tell the stories so stifled back. You can change the vote.